Not Putz

Not Putz

Not Putz

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Oct. 31 1998 3:30 AM

Not Putz



"They've given Clinton an opportunity to prove that, like Kennedy, his taste is eclectic. Kennedy liked Casals and Frost, Bill likes Domino and Roth. And cake."--Jennifer Miller

"All endured the bowdlerization of their best work in versions released by Pat Boone."--Angus MacDonald

"Top row and sponsor of Hollywood Lemon Squares."--Brooke Saucier

"All part of a long-lost Carson 'Carnak the Magnificent' bit."--Matthew Singer

"They all routinely have icing licked off them."--Larry Amaros

"All four have been banned by the Taliban, now that Sara Lee has brought out its new 'pork-fried pound cake.' "--Aaron Schatz

"All were absolutely beastly to Claire Bloom, according to her new book, Leaving a Doll's House on Blueberry Hill, With Some Damn Yankees and a Fat Ass."--Tim Carvell (Scott Lemieux had a similar answer.)

"Part of the classic 'food sex' scene that Nathan Zuckerman imagines in American Asstoral."--Alex Balk

"They all married Communists."--Stephen Murray

"All have spent years in Newark, N.J., but only Philip Roth admits it."--Leslie Goodman-Malamuth

"Important influences on the upcoming Roth opus, in which an aging writer named Philip Roth listens to the blues and reaches orgasm while fantasizing about Pajama Game and, having long ago ruined his catcher's mitt, reaches instead for a handy nearby pound cake."--Peter Lerangis

"They all secrete edible oil products."--David Rakoff

"Backups to John Glenn for today's shuttle launch. (Scientists are, of course, eager to study the effects of weightlessness on Fats Domino's ass and Gwen Verdon's saggy boobs.)"--Jon Hotchkiss

"They were all name-checked in one tangled sentence of an incoherent, unfunny Dennis Miller 'rant.' "--Matt Sullivan

"They are the early leaders in the White House's new Dubious Achievement to the Nation awards."--Bill Franzen

"The Sara Lee Corp. is the principal backer for a musical comedy adaptation due next year of Philip Roth's satire The Breast, which will have songs drawn from Fats Domino's repertoire and will also mark Gwen Verdon's return to the Broadway stage in a role that will require her to jiggle but not actually dance."--David Finkle

"Officers of the Blueberry Hill Brownies troop. Roth and Verdon were named most likely to succeed as Girl Scouts."--Carrie Rickey

"All featured next week on A & E's Biography series under the theme 'From Blueberries (and Hill) to Jews (Who Thrill)'?"--Andrew Reynolds

"Proof that 1) Americans will buy anything, and 2) over time, they will reject or forget it."--Stuart Wade

"They are the four independent candidates desperately trying to catch Jessie 'The Body' Ventura in the tight race for the governor's seat in Minnesota. Ventura said that he and Democrat Hubert H. 'Skip' Humphrey III could easily 'take down' Philip Roth and all the employees of Sara Lee in a no holds barred battle royal. Now that's politics, ladies and gentlemen!"--Eric Nelson

"They are the first four links in the six degrees of separation that lead from Philip Roth, who once shook hands with Fats Domino, who once kissed Gwen Verdon, who was once leered at by a man who later changed his name to the Sara Lee Corp., who once got his hair cut by a Newark barber named Bernie Milman ... all the way to a woman Milman once sat next to on a bus: Phillip Roth's mother. Admittedly, as six degrees of separation go, this is not very impressive."--Jon Schwartz

Self-Reference Corner

"Each of the first three were turned down after auditioning to perform testimonial commercials for the fourth because they hesitated during negotiations. (Roth stumbled at the double negative 'Nobody doesn't like ...') It's OK, though, because Michael Kinsley snapped up the job right after the offer. Self-congratulatory e-mail to follow."--Jack Hitt


"Well, they certainly provide evidence of Randy's vast cultural influence. Who the hell had given more than a passing thought to Gwen Verdon during the 30 years preceding last week's 'News Quiz' header? And now she gets a big award. Coincidence? Not bloody likely."--Jennifer Miller

Randy Cohen used to write Slate's "News Quiz." His most recent book—oh, like you don't know.